Extreme Minimalism: Owning Only 15 Things

How many things do you own? Whatever it is, it's probably a lot more than the things tech entrepreneur Andrew Hyde owns. The extreme minimalist was photographed above with the 15 (or so) things that he owns:

The first question someone asks me when I tell them about the project is “How do you define something you own?” Great question, but that is a lie. The first question is always “Do you do laundry? How many pairs of underwear?” I’ll never get a stranger’s obsession with my knickers, but that is *always* question #1. Question #2 is the “What do you own?” countdown, which is both fun and annoying to answer.

I don’t have a permanent address or a second pair of jeans. Forgive me if I don’t want to answer it, but it takes a bit of emotion to go from an overconsumer to a minimalist, and perhaps even more emotion to think about it all the time. When I get up in the morning, I wear what is clean. That is my thought process. Then I’m out the door. When I am asked about what I own, I have to think about it deliberately. Imagine everything you own? Name it. Longer list than mine, but you still have to justify things as you list them, which is exhausting in a way that makes you pair emotion with physical objects. [...]

So, back to everything I own. The “rule” of ownership is the express-lane checkout rule. If you were checking out in a grocery store, what would be counted as one item in your bag? A six-pack of beer would be one, right? I count my things as resellable items I would be pissed if someone took.

Coffee cup? No. Jacket? Yes. iPhone and headphones? One thing. Simple enough?

Here is the list, as of May 2, 2011. I made a similar list in Colombia. Scott Berkun also did an interview around that time too.

Arc’teryx Miura 30 backpack
NAU shirt
Mammut rain jacket
Arc’teryx tshirt
Patagonia running shorts
Quick Dry towel
NAU wool jacket
Toiletry kit
Smith sunglasses
MacBook Air
iPhone 3GS
NAU dress shirt
Patagonia jeans
Running shoes

Link (with podcast of interview with ABC Radio News' Dan Patterson)

Update 6/14/2012: Andrew just published a book "This Book Is About Travel" (Website | Amazon) - Thanks Andrew!

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So hey, I forgot, Ahabcaptn has a Henry David Thoreau video as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WATe4jC-zOA

I guess that would be most pertinent to the discussion. It describes Thoreau's philosophy.
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I didn't put it quite like that, but that is what Jesus calls us to do; "Deny yourself, pick-up your cross and imitate me."

See, the ego, and not just yours or mine, but all ego doesn't like the idea of superiority. If the ego reveres Jesus for example, it's going to have a hard time accepting that someone else is like Jesus or that they even intend to be like Jesus. The ego would rather call this person a heretic and crucify them.

And so, a lot of Christians think you shouldn't be like Jesus. You shouldn't deny yourself, adorn a crucifix and imitate Jesus (ie. sacrifice yourself for truth and humanity). But these people are just keeping themselves down through egotism, and exalting Jesus in the same way. Jesus himself did not ask us to worship him, he asked us to imitate him. Few are doing so because they don't they can or should and won't accept anyone else doing it either.
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